This revised and updated edition of the landmark publication reveals the current state of knowledge regarding animal tool behaviour.
When originally published in 1980, Animal Tool Behavior was the first volume to catalogue and analyze the complete literature on tool use and manufacture in non-human animals. Benjamin B. Beck showed how animals – from insects to primates – employed different types of tools to solve numerous problems. This work inspired and energized legions of researchers to study the use of tools by a wide variety of species.
This new edition reveals the current state of knowledge regarding animal tool behaviour, updated and revised with 300 additional references that have been published since the second edition. Through a comprehensive synthesis of studies produced through 2023, Robert W. Shumaker, Kristina R. Walkup, and Benjamin B. Beck define tool use, discuss the modes of tool use that have emerged in the scientific literature, examine all forms of tool manufacture, and address common myths about non-human tool use. Specific examples involving invertebrates, birds, fish, and mammals describe the differing levels of sophistication of tool use exhibited by animals. This volume provides a thorough framework for understanding animal tool use and manufacture.
Foreword, by Gordon M. Burghardt
3. Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles
5. Non-Primate Mammals
6. Lemurs, Lorises, and Monkeys
8. Seven Myths
Robert W. Shumaker is the president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, the author of Orangutans and the editor of Saving Endangered Species: Lessons in Wildlife Conservation from Indianapolis Prize Winners.
Kristina R. Walkup is a professor at Des Moines Area Community College.
Benjamin Beck is a scientist emeritus at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and a founding member of the board of Save the Golden Lion Tamarin. He is the author of Unwitting Travelers: A History of Primate Reintroduction, and the first edition of Animal Tool Behavior. Shumaker and Beck are coauthors of Primates in Question.
Gordon M. Burghardt is an Alumni Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee. He is the author of The Genesis of Animal Play: Testing the Limits.
Reviews of the second edition:
"Animal Tool Behavior is a read for a wide audience of individuals interested in understanding not only the range of behaviors of which non-human animals are capable, but also cognition, conceptualized both as a set of abilities and as an array of mental operations."
– Maura Pilotti – Metapsychology
"Reading about how busy all these tool-users are is a delight, an introduction to a unique way of regarding a fascinating aspect of animal behavior."
– Rob Hardy – The Dispatch
"A true encyclopedia of animal tool use and as such I highly recommend it for every library that serves zoologists and/or behavioral scientists as well as for major public libraries."
– Andrezej Elzanowski – Acta Ornithologica
"I highly recommend this publication to anyone who is interested in animal behavior. It would be a wonderful textbook for advanced undergraduate courses and for graduate-level seminars in biology, psychology, and anthropology programs."
– Marc Bekoff – Quarterly Review of Biology
"This book is a landmark publication that will stimulate, guide and advance animal tool-use research for decades to come [...] Brimming with exciting natural history and presented with admirable rigour and scholarship."
– Christian Rutz, Ibis 156, 2014